Do Ligaments Also Get Inflamed?

I have peroneal tendon problems.

But could the ligaments that are involved in the same area also get tendonitis?

And....will the ice "attack" also help deal with this sort of inflammation too?


Joshua Answers:

Essentially, the answer to your questions is 'Yes'.

Whether one has Tendonitis or not, ligaments can get a little or a lot stretched, get wear and tear damage, have too much intermittent and/or constant strain on them and get irritated, inflammed, and unhappy.

For instance, if you foot bones or ankle bones are out of alignment, or if chronically tight muscles are pulling a joint askew, then the forces will get out of balance and the ligaments will have more strain on them than they like.

I like to call the result 'ligamentitis'.

The Process of Inflammation is the same, the resulting Pain Causing Dynamic is the same.

It's basically Tendonitis of the ligament.

Might be worth a trip to a foot chiropractor, make sure everything's aligned, because the Peroneal Tendonitis symptoms can possibly have an element of Ligamentitis at play.

-- Ice Attack -- I like it! Great name.

Yes, attacking inflammation with Ice Dips and Ice Massage as described on the How To Reduce Inflammation page will knock down the inflammation response.

Keep in mind that ligament is even tougher and denser than tendon, so it will take more time and more work to un-inflam a damaged ligament.

Joshua Tucker, B.A., C.M.T.
The Tendonitis Expert

Subscribe to The Tendonitis Expert Newsletter Today!

For TIPS, TRICKS, and up-to-date Tendonitis information you need!




Don't worry -- your e-mail address is totally secure.

I promise to use it only to send you The Tendonitis Expert Newsletter.

Comments for Do Ligaments Also Get Inflamed?

Average Rating starstarstarstarstar

Click here to add your own comments

Jul 28, 2009
PART 2 - Do Ligaments Also Get Inflamed?
by: Anonymous

Now what I cant understand is this....

I was initially told by my general physican here in England that my pain having been around for 5 months is more likely to be tendonisis rather than short term tendonitis?

And that what I have is no longer an inflammation problem ....and would be less likely to respond to meds?

So how can the "ice attack" work on a longer term condition which doesnt involve inflammation?

I certainly dont want to go anywhere near cortisone if my problem is tendonisis rather than an inflammation acute injury.



Joshua Comments

Great questions!!!

This is the meaty stuff I love talking about....


Tendonitis technically is inflammation of a tendon, generally including at least a small amount of wear and tear damage.

Tendonosis is a degradation of tendon tissue due to lack of circulation, thus to a lack of new nutrients being delivered to the cells that then die.

When the body experiences pain and/or damage, it kicks in an Inflammation response. Period.

Officially, there is no Inflammation aspect to Tendonosis. I don't believe this to be the case. And even if I'm wrong, there IS something happening that is close enough to it that I'm happy to consider it the same thing.

So, there is cell damage and degradation with Tendonosis. Fibers break apart (just like in Tendonitis wear and tear damage) and the body tries to heal by laying down scar tissue (just like it does to try to heal Tendonitis).

The problem with Tendonosis is that the tendon is still getting insufficient blood/nutrient supply, so it heals slower than it takes continual damage.

So. I agree with your doctor that meds would be less or not effective, but not for the same reasons. Though they may reduce pain, they just don't help a body heal.

So. Icing works because it reduces inflammation, which helps dial down the body's pain response. This helps muscles relax. This puts less tension on the structurally damaged tendon.

Icing also helps Tendonitis and Tendonosis because it gets waste product out, and new blood and nutrition in.

The priority with Tendonosis, and Tendonitis too, really, is to get new blood to the tendon so it can become strong and healthy again. With enough new blood supply, it will heal. Without it, it won't.

Time is not a good healer of Tendonosis, and it doesn't reverse the Tendonitis dynamic.

Ultimately the treatment for the two is the same, but with Tendonosis, the intention is more specifically to get blood to the area.

Jul 29, 2009
PART 3 - OK.....
by: Anonymous

So....probably even more important with a longer standing condition such as tendonisis....gee..these are just words !! to attack with ice like your life depends on a tendon or ligament that has been sore for a few months is seriously lacking in fresh blood and circulation and needs ice attack even more than a sudden tear might?


Joshua Comments:

Two thoughts.

1. Yes, if it's been hurting, it's safe to say it's not getting enough blood. There is a new form of treatment called PRP, where they take your own blood, centrifuge it, take the platelet rich plasma from it, and inject it back into your tendon.

2. It is interesting to start looking into significant rips and tears....did they already have Tendonosis, were degrading to some point, and then couldn't handle the strain and 'let go'?

Tendon and ligament doesn't have the direct blood supply like muscle does. This, for a host of reasons, can cause problems.

Jul 29, 2009
PART 4 - Rest and antiinflammatory drugs for Tendonitis
by: Anonymous

Well this makes sense.

I have had this problem for 5 months.

in all that time I have taken ibuprofen, rested but there has been little improvement.

I have had a little massage from my physio....once every 2 weeks.....done no self massage and did not know about the ice "theory"

If I did have a major "tear" then firstly I think I would be in more pain than I am and secondly the rest and anti inflammatories would have seen me through

I was reading another website about this problem and again the use of cortisone and ibuprofen meds was not seen as useful as ice therapy and massage at regular intervals during the day


Joshua Comments:

I don't know that anti-inflamatory drugs and rest are any better for the healing of torn tendons than they are for Tendonitis or Tendinosis.

Depending on the size of the tear, and the leverage/force place upon it, rest may be necessary to let it mend together...but after that.......

Jul 29, 2009
PART 5 - Heals slower due to higher density?
by: Anonymous

So...a tendon or ligament problem will take a whole while longer to heal than a muscle problem because its denser?


Joshua Comments:

Well, partly due to the density, but mainly due to it does not have direct blood supply, meaning that arteries don't deliver blood directly to and into the tendon.

Basically, movement creates nutrition delivery for tendons and ligaments, movement simulating movement of fluid containing nutrients.

Various factors can lessen the tendon's/ligament's access to nutrition supply.

Decreased nutrition = weaker structure.

Massage creates circulation. The effects of icing creates circulation.

Circulation = nutrient delivery = healthier structure and faster healing.

Jul 30, 2009
by: Anonymous

Just to confirm I have also been given an appointment with the local state podiatrist , you call them chiropodists in the states ....who will be looking at how my feet strike the ground etc to see if that has any effect on my tendons.


Joshua Comments:

Podiatrists here in the states, though the professionals who do what you describe, come from different professions, including podiatrists, some Physical Therapists, etc.

If you plan to continue a lot of walking, I definitely recommend that. Sure can't hurt anything.

Click here to add your own comments

Return to Ask The Tendonitis Expert .

Enjoy this page? Please pay it forward. Here's how...

Would you prefer to share this page with others by linking to it?

  1. Click on the HTML link code below.
  2. Copy and paste it, adding a note of your own, into your blog, a Web page, forums, a blog comment, your Facebook account, or anywhere that someone would find this page valuable.